My eucalyptus tree attempted partial suicide (non-fatal self-destructive act, self-mutilation) a couple of days ago.
The California Eucalyptus are transplanted trees from Australia (ca 1850) – they were brought here in the hopes that they would provide a renewable source of timber for construction and furniture making.
I heard a big swooshing noise and a loud thump; what seemed to be my whole eucalyptus tree landed ten inches from my parked car at my doorsteps killing some poinsettias. I thought I’ve lost the tree but I found out later that “some species of Eucalyptus have a habit of dropping entire branches off as they grow. Eucalyptus forests are littered with dead branches. Many people have been killed as they camped underneath the trees. It is thought that the trees shed very large branches to conserve water during periods of drought.” Mine’s “accident” may have been caused by the wind or the heaviness of the branch.
The whole yard smelled wonderful though – by its very essence, eucalyptus has the scent of freshness and purification. I love trees especially the ones I grew up with – sycamores and poplars. “Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.” Bill Vaughan
One whole day of yard work reduced the giant branch to these. Maybe my wood sculptor friend would be interested.
I can’t translate this poem without stripping it of its original beauty:
Dans la forêt sans heures
On abat un grand arbre
Un vide vertical
Tremble en forme de fût
Près du tronc étendu.
Cherchez, cherchez, oiseaux,
La place de vos nids
Dans ce haut souvenir
Tant qu’il murmure encore.
I haven’t seen a willow selling its shade to the ground
The elm tree freely bestows its branch to the crow
Wherever there is a leaf my passion blossoms
من نديدم دو صنوبر را با هم دشمن
من نديدم بيدي، سايه اش را بفروشد به زمين.
رايگان مي بخشد، نارون شاخه خود را به كلاغ.
هر كجا برگي هست ، شور من مي شكفد
Je n’ai jamais vu la haine de deux peupliers.
Je n’ai jamais vu un saule vendre son ombre à la terre.
Et gratuitement l’orme offre sa branche aux corbeaux.
Partout où frémit une feuille,
S’épanouit aussi le bourgeon de l’ardeur.
I love my iPod! It’s ancient but I don’t want to get a new one yet; I have to admit that having a portable music library has not been my primary concern but the podcasts…oh the podcasts…
Many of my friends have asked about subscribing to podcasts with an iPod (or any other MP3) – this is how I listen to my news from around the world – it’s like TiVo-ing your favorite radio shows; you have to install itunes and take it from there:
And the rest is pretty easy. Here are some of the things I listen to: NPR morning news, scientific american , slate magazine, 2000 ans d’histoire, in our time with melvyn bragg, Radio Lab, NYT’s Frank Rich/Maureen Dowd , etc… I do download a “medley” of different stuff and I hardly listen to music on my ipod but that’s just me – the beauty of it all is that I can listen to what I want when I want and with a little gadget (iTrip), it even plays on my car radio.
Five minutes in the morning to download the podcasts from my computer and this can carry me through Life‘s rush-hour…Happiness is a lot of small/little things.
Living in the 21st century and exposed to Darfur and Iraq via our television sets, nothing can scare us anymore. Hannibal Lecter opens his victim’s head and eats his brain alive and I remember that instead of being revolted, I smiled at the stupidity/absurdity of the scene – unlike the Exorcist, the horror film masterpiece, that kept me awake for a few nights, 25 years ago…
Walking in my neighborhood, I can tell which houses have kids – they are usually meticulously decorated.
Halloween originated in Ireland and October 31st was perceived as the night during which the division between the world of the living and the dead is blurred hence having jack-o-lanterns (made of pumpkins, turnips or beets) to scare the evil spirits away. Tomorrow night, children (and adults) will dress up as scary creatures: ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches, and goblins – Harry Potter galore…
one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, he remained true to his humanity. “I came to the conclusion that there is a plurality of ideals, as there is a plurality of cultures and of temperaments. I am not a relativist; I do not say “I like my coffee with milk and you like it without; I am in favor of kindness and you prefer concentration camps” — each of us with his own values, which cannot be overcome or integrated. This I believe to be false. But I do believe that there is a plurality of values which men can and do seek, and that these values differ.”
They say that alcohol lubricates the conversation; i would say that coffee or tea do that job way better (you start sober and stay that way). I am coming from a tea (called chai and almost never mixed with milk) drinking country where even babies are given sweet tea beside their mother’s milk, but i can’t be ambivalent towards coffee in all its glorious variations, taken preferably in a Viennese coffeehouse or a French café.
Today’s blogs/internet forums are becoming like the coffeehouses of previous centuries where people got together and exchanged ideas, read, wrote and generally got inspired; to be alone yet surrounded by like minded people. My beloved Stephen Zweig or Gustave Klimt have been ardent patrons of coffeehouses. The slow “coffeehouse death” of 1950’s has been reversed rapidly, of all entities, by Seattle’s Starbucks & other American coffee companies who went on a rampage with their idiotic “grande/venti/tall” shouts! I take mine “chez Peet” (the guru of everyone in gourmet coffee revolution). Too much noise for a small coffee… What’s missing is the true conversation; how can you have one when you are busy slurping your pumpkin spice frappuccino (770 calories)? Ok, so I am not proud of my decaf soy latte neither (they say decaf is the devil’s blend!)